Genshin Impact Team Building Guide
This guide will aim to help you create teams for any content in the game.
Before making your team, it’s important to understand why certain characters and synergies work better than others. To help understand, below is an explanation of certain game mechanics.
DEF and RES:
Enemies have two different ways to mitigate your damage. The first is DEF (defence) which reduces all types of damage. The second is RES (resistance), which reduces specific types of damage, i.e. Pyro RES will only reduce pyro damage. Most common enemies have both ~10% physical and elemental RES. Stronger mobs typically have higher Phys RES, i.e. Mitachurls have 30% physical RES, Ruin guards have 70% physical RES.
You can reduce both enemy DEF and RES to increase your damage. At the moment, the only ways to reduce DEF are in certain constellations, while for RES it varies.
The most notable ways to reduce RES are Superconductor, which reduces Phys RES by 40%, and the Viridescent Venerer artifact set, which when using swirl reduces the infused element’s RES by 40%. There are however significant diminishing returns on reducing RES, with the effectiveness halving as you reduce it past 0%.
For example, if you use superconductor on an enemy with 10% Phys RES, the first 10% of superconductor will reduce the RES to 0%, then the 30% left will reduce it by 15% to -15%. This is equivalent to about a 27.78% physical damage increase (115/90), and you can test this in-game on a slime to check for yourself.
In Genshin you can create reactions by combining different elements. These reactions deal damage to enemies based on your level, elemental mastery, and enemy resistance (certain artifacts/constellations as well). For example if you create overload, the damage will be based on your level, your elemental mastery, and your enemy’s pyro resistance.
There are two types of reactions; amplifying (Melt/Vaporise) which multiply your damage, and transforming (Superconductor, Swirl, Shattered, Overload, Electro-charged) which create an additional hits.
Transforming reactions do NOT scale with your talent levels, attack, crit or elemental damage%, and as such will not become stronger as your characters progress. Transformation reactions deal damage in ratios;
Supercondcutor : Swirl : Shattered : Overload : Electro-charged = 1 : 1.2 : 3 : 4 : 4.8.
This means Overload deals 4x as much damage as superconductor, electro charged deals 20% more damage than overload and so forth.
Since you’ll be poorly geared early on, transformation reactions will be very strong and will likely make up a large percentage of your damage. Later on, as the effectiveness of transformation reactions falls, amplifying reactions may become stronger.
It should be noted though that since Fischl is such a strong unit, she’ll always be relevant despite only being able to create transformation reactions. Also, reaction damage increases with your elemental mastery, but there are fairly significant diminishing returns as your EM increases.
There are several ways to gain energy, the resource needed to use your elemental burst.
Firstly, you can gain energy by using skills (E) on enemies. This will generate elemental (coloured) particles. Each skill generates a specific amount of particles (or a range), and some do not generate any at all (Noelle E currently generates 0 particles).
Each elemental particle gives more energy to units with the corresponding element. A third of the energy is given to units of differing elements. Party members off the field also receive slightly reduced energy rates, about 75% of what the field party member receives.
You can also generate particles by simply dealing damage to enemies. In most cases enemies will drop clear or elemental particles at certain HP thresholds. For example, hilichurls will always drop clear particles at 50% and 0% HP.
Clear particles give equal energy to all elements. Some other enemies will drop elemental particles. For example, baby cryo slimes will drop cryo particles at 50% and 0% HP.
What does all this mean? You can generate energy faster by using characters of the same element. Of course this comes at the cost of reduced reaction damage, so consider how important reactions are to you. For example, if an Abyss Floor doesn’t buff reaction damage but buffs elemental damage, the sacrifice in reaction damage could be worth it.
GENERAL TEAM BUILDING:
Across your party, you will have access to 4 sets of skills and bursts. In general, your skills should be prioritised over auto-attacking as these deal higher DPS and help create energy.
As an example, Xiangling’s auto attack chain deals 296% over ~2.85s, while her E deals 440% and only takes a fraction of the time to cast (1s if you’re swapping in to her just to use her E).
Auto-attack damage will usually have more buffs, but even then, skills will usually be more important. When you have no abilities ready, you will need a unit to fill in the gaps in your rotation. Lets call this unit your Main DPS.
Ideally, your Main DPS should have good DPS when it comes to auto-attacks and/or have spammable skills like Bennett’s E (1.5s CD in his Q). In the tier list I have rated units based on their ability to be a Main DPS. For the early-game/exploration phase, I suggest simply picking a Main DPS that you enjoy playing as they will be the core of your team.
Later on your teams will vary depending on the content you’re doing and you’ll likely have to use a different Main DPS based on that. There is no objectively ‘best team’ nor should you focus on building one team in specific. There are subjectively ‘better’ units that you could invest in to help build good teams for the content ahead.
Once you’ve chosen your Main DPS, you’ll have 3 slots left to fill. Who you choose depends on what you’re doing. For example, if you’re in the Spiral Abyss, you’ll likely need a healer. You may also want a unit that can take care of any monsters that are immune to your main DPS.
You could also bring a second unit of the same element to help build energy, or a different element unit to create specific reactions. Like I’ve mentioned above though, it is all very dependent on what you’re doing.
EARLY-MID GAME TEAMS (EXPLORING):
Early on your characters will be relatively weak. You won’t have that many good artifacts and your talent levels will be low. This means the relative strength of reaction damage will be high. To make the most of this, I doing two things.
First, I suggest stacking most of your resources onto your Main DPS. This way you won’t spread your resources too thin and will have a reliable unit for early-game abyss.
Second, I suggest building elemental mastery on most of your other units and trying to focus on reaction damage.
Reactions are relatively easy to strengthen compared to ability/auto damage since you’ll only need to level up the unit and build an elemental mastery artifact (+weapon?) on them. Since electro-charged and overload deal the most damage you should try incorporate them first.
Characters that can create reactions while off the field are especially useful to maximise your reaction damage, units like Mona, Xiangling, Fischl. Don’t worry about min-maxing as you will likely get new characters or gear, just equip them with at least an elemental mastery artifact if they’re there for reactions.
Stack all the atk/crit/dmg% artifacts on your main carry and use them to DPS between your other characters’ E/Qs.
More importantly, as you explore the map, you should make sure you can deal with all the different monster types. As a general guideline:
- Pyro vs Cryo/Electro slimes and other cryo enemies
- Electro vs Hydro enemies
- Claymore/geo vs Geo slimes and other Geo shields
- Hydro vs Pyro enemies
- Cryo vs Electro skirmishers
So, an example setup could be:
Xiangling, Fischl, Barbara, Noelle
With this comp you’d have both overload and electro-charged, be able to deal with most enemy types, and have reliable healing.
If you aren’t able to cover everything don’t worry, some elements/shields have ‘secondary’ weaknesses. For example, if you don’t have hydro unit to deal with pyro shields, you can still use cryo or electro but they are less effective.
As for which units to invest in, I would recommend reading the next section since those units should be useful later on as well.
LATE GAME/SPIRAL ABYSS:
As you progress into the game and begin upgrading your units, you’ll eventually come to a point where overworld content becomes trivial. The Spiral Abyss will likely become your main focus and you should be tailoring your teams to that.
That being said, your teams should mostly be based on the buffs provided by the floors and will vary a lot, i.e. If you’re using Chongyun as your main DPS for exploring, but the floor gives electro/pyro damage%, there is no reason for you to be using Chongyun on that floor.
As a general setup for the abyss, you will want to have the following all ticked off:
- A way to heal inside the floor
- A way to deal with all the different enemy shields, especially for the fatui skirmishers
- Strong DPS, likely based on the floor buffs
I think I’ve unintentionally made people think about DPS too much; being able to optimize DPS is second to being able to survive and deal with the enemy shields/mechanics, especially since clearing these quickly will INCREASE your overall DPS.
For example, Floor 9 buffs pyro/electro/overload damage, and the first half has an enemy with a geo shield. So a potential team for that could be: Xiangling, Bennett, Fischl, Noelle.
To ‘optimize’ DPS, You could bring Venti with the Viridescent Venerer artifact set to decrease Pyro RES, but you’d waste a lot of time breaking through the geo shield which would only end up slowing you down. Also remember you will need two teams per floor after floor 5 so consider how you will distribute your power.
As for which units are strong for Abyss, any units that have multiple uses to help free up slots in your team are very valuable. For example, claymore users can both deal DPS/clear shields for their respective elements, but also clear geo shields meaning you don’t need to bring another geo/claymore character.
Characters like Bennett or Xingqiu that can deal damage and heal at the same time are very good as well.
Also, it’s important to know that certain elements have more floor buffs. For late-game abyss (Floors 9-12), Pyro is buffed on both floors 9 and 12, whereas Geo/Anemo/Hydro aren’t buffed on any.
That’s not to say those elements don’t have their uses, but that certain elements are just generally more useful and that you may want to prioritise them. Even Amber would outdps Keqing if you’re on a floor with pyro buffs vs enemies weak to pyro.
Overall I’d say you should have at least two pyro dps units (for floor 9/12), two healing units and either an electro or cryo dps.
WHICH ARTIFACTS SHOULD I USE?
As you get further into the game, you might start considering which artifacts to use. For example, would a Critical Rate% circlet be better than a Critical Damage% one? This section will try help answer that.
There are 5 different types of artifacts, each with a range of ‘main stats’. The Flower artifact can only have HP as a main stat, whereas the Feather can only have Flat ATK. Below is a breakdown of which artifacts can have which substats.
Flower – Hp
Feather – Flat ATK
Sands – ATK%, DEF%, HP%, Elemental Mastery, Elemental Recharge%
Goblet – ATK%, DEF%, HP%, Physical Bonus%, Elemental Bonus% (One for each element)
Circlet – ATK%, DEF%, HP%, Critical Rate%, Critical DMG%, Healing bonus%
Since you can only choose the main stat for the last 3, we’ll only go over those.
The useful stats for DPS here are ATK%, Elemental Mastery and Elemental Recharge%.
If you are early on in the game, you should consider going Elemental Mastery since it will increase your reaction damage significantly.
Later on, ATK% will likely be better, unless that unit is specifically there to create reactions, i.e. Slotting Fischl on a team with other Pyro/Hydro units.
Recharge% is mostly a gimmick, unless that unit is underlevelled and is only there for their ult.
The useful stats for DPS here are ATK%, Physical bonus% and Elemental bonus%.
The rates of ATK% to Elemental% are equal, around 46.6% on a level 20 5* artifact. Since ATK% only increases your base atk and not your flat atk, elemental% is almost always a better choice for units with mostly elemental damage.
You’ll also likely have other sources of ATK% from weapons/resonance making ATK% even weaker as it suffers from diminishing returns.
If a unit is there for mostly Physical damage, you should go for that instead.
HOWEVER, I don’t think any unit is better of being built as a physical DPS, unless the rest of your team is underleveled/undergeared and their skills wouldn’t do much DPS (So the Phys DPS has to fill in the rotation).
In this case, Physical Bonus% may be optimal, depending on the unit (Xiangling, Razor, etc)
The useful stats for DPS here are ATK%, Critical Rate% and Critical DMG%
If you have ATK% on your Sands, you’ll already be seeing some significant diminshing returns on ATK%.
For example, let’s say you have a level 90 Xiangling with a R0 blackcliff pole and level 20 artifacts, with ATK% on the Sands. She would have ~730 Base ATK, +82.6% ATK % and 311 FLAT ATK from feather, for a total of 1644 ATK.
If you had another ATK% main stat on your Circlet, the ATK would instead be 1984 ATK. This is a 21% increase in DPS. Let’s compare this to a Crit Rate% main stat. If your Xiang has 5% crit to begin with, it would increase your crit to 38.1%. This is a 16% increase in DPS assuming you have base Crit DMG (+50%).
If you had more Crit DMG or more ATK%, the difference would decrease and Crit Rate could be better. It all depends on your weapons, other artifacts and their substats.
In general, as you get more stats and increase your Crit DMG/ATK%:
Crit rate > Crit dmg > ATK%
Each artifact also comes with a selection of substats. Each artifact has the same selection of substats, with the except that the substat cannot be the same as the mainstat.
For example, an ATK% artifact can’t have ATK% in the substats.
These are possible substats:
Flat ATK, Flat DEF, FLAT HP, ATK%, DEF%, HP%, CRIT RATE, CRIT DMG, ELEMENTAL MASTERY, ELEMENTAL RECHARGE%
An artifact will come with 2-3 substats and every 4 levels a new one will be added until you have all 4 substat slots filled. Every 4 levels after that, a random substat will be chosen and an extra roll’s worth of stats will be added.
Later on, you will want to prioritise Crit rate and Crit dmg, since these stats have the lowest diminishing returns and stack with each other. ATK% and EM% are also great, especially early on.
Flat ATK is a bait stat and is usually significantly weaker than ATK%, by about 2-3 times.
WHICH WEAPONS SHOULD I USE?
When considering which weapon you want to invest in, it’s important to understand the Base ATK mechanic.
In Genshin, your unit’s Base ATK is calculated by adding their inherent ATK stat with their weapons ATK. This is the value that’s then multiplied by ATK% from your weapons or artifacts.
Essentially, having a high Base ATK is very important since all your damage will scale off it (Except reactions).
A weapon’s rarity also determines it’s Base ATK. At level 1;
- 3* weapons have 38,39 or 40 Base ATK
- 4* weapons have 41,42 or 44 Base ATK
- 5* weapons have 46 or 48 Base ATK
With the way these values scale, at level 90, a class 48 weapon will have almost twice as much base atk as a class 38 weapon (~670 vs ~360).
Hypothetically, a class 44 version of a class 38 weapon gives almost 30% extra DPS just because of the Base ATK. This is huge and pretty much invalidates any difference in refinement ranks that the 3* weapons might have.
Higher * weapons also usually have stronger effects, and the 4* craftable weapons are usually as good if not better than the 3* ones. If you are F2P, I would recommend just using the appropriate 4* craftable weapons. If you are whaling, there’s a much bigger selection.
In general, 5* weapons are better than 4* weapons but there are still quite a few good 4* options.
- For bows, the 4* Alley Hunter/Stringless are very strong for support Fischl/Venti.
- For claymores, the 4* BP weapon Serpent Spine seems to be as good the 5* options, but the Blackcliff slasher is good as well
- For catalysts, the Widsith/Solar Pearl are very strong
- For polearms, Blackcliff Pole or Dragon’s Bane for Xiangling (Reaction DPS)
- For swords, Black Sword for Auto-attackers or Blackcliff Longsword for main DPS.
- Use the DPS sim to see which weapons are better if you can choose between the ones above.